The main purpose of using keywords in SEO is to clearly state what topics you are writing about on your blog posts. Keywords should be in your title, meta description, and in the content of your blog. When your blog post appears in a search result, the searcher can see from your keywords what your content is about.
Let’s look at how important keywords are and where you should use them.
- Keywords in your title tag
- Keywords in your meta description
- How to change your title tag and meta description on a WordPress blog video tutorial
- Google chooses the meta description to display for blog posts
- What does Google want?
- How does Google decide what post is first?
- Do I need keywords for SEO?
- Organic keywords, what are they?
- Paid keywords, what are they?
- How do I optimize keywords?
- What are long-tail keywords?
- Writing content tips
Keywords in your title tag
Keywords need to be in your post title because when people are looking at search results they are reading the title tags to find a site that offers the best content for their search query.
If you have a post about golfing swings but golfing swings is not in your title tag, the searcher won’t click on your listing because they don’t see how your post can help them.
You could have the best content on the internet, but if your title tag doesn’t sell that, you aren’t going to get clicks.
Let’s look at an example of excellent title tags.
I typed ‘how to improve my golf swing’ into Google, here are the first page results.
The primary keywords from my search are ‘improve, golf, and swing. Google can work out the searcher’s intent from these words.
I am looking for ways to improve my golf swing so I want to see a title tag that lets me know that if I click on a link it will take me to a post that will help me improve my golf swing.
As you can see from the list all the results have the words ‘golf’ and ‘swing’ in their title tags. The post that has the top spot has ’10 best golf swing tips ever’ as a title. This matches my search query.
Keywords in your meta description
The meta description is the text displayed just below the title. It is a short introduction of what to expect if you click to go to this post.
When I write my meta descriptions, I use a plugin called Yoast. With the Yoast plugin, you have a box in your WordPress editor to insert your meta description.
If you would like to know how to use Yoast to write your meta description, check out my post about changing title tags and meta descriptions.
Let’s look at the top three search results of my golf swing search to see what they have as their meta descriptions.
Number one search position
Number one spot’s meta description tells us that his top 10 golf swing tips are indispensable for someone who wants to improve their swing.
This website has an excellent title tag and meta description. It is spot on with the searcher’s intent. I think this post has got a high click-through rate, therefore Google has chosen this site as the best post. If the content delivers great content, then this website owner has done a first-class job.
Number two search position
Number two spot result tells us in the meta description that this post will help you add extra yards to your golf drive. Again, this will be appealing to someone looking to improve their golf swing. This title tag matches the searcher’s intent.
This meta description gives authority to their content by telling us their tips come from a Ryder cup winner. I would click on this link because getting tips from a successful professional golfer must be good.
Number three search position
Number three spot result tells us in the meta description that we will get ten tips on how to improve our game. I think the top two results are more compelling, but this meta description says that we will get good tips to improve our golf game. This is a description that matches my search term.
How to change your title tag and meta description on a WordPress blog video tutorial
Google chooses the meta description for your blog post
I write all my meta descriptions but there is no guarantee that Google will use it. Google analyzes your post and then decides what it will use as a meta description.
Sometimes it is what you set as a meta description. Sometimes it is part of your content. A top tip is to have a meta description that is appealing to a searcher, then in your first paragraph, let your visitors know what you are going to share with them with a brief introduction.
What does Google want?
Google wants to deliver the best search results possible for each and every user. They do this by trying to understand the searcher’s intent. What is it that the searcher is looking for?
The keywords in your title tag, meta description, and content help Google understand what your posts are about. But it isn’t just about keywords, your content needs to be top quality, too. If you have a post full of keywords but poor quality content then you will not rank high, if at all, in Google.
You need an excellent title and meta description that get searchers to click on your website and great content that delivers a fantastic user experience.
Google is continually updating the way it analyzes content. If you publish excellent content, eye-catching titles and meta descriptions that make people want to know more. You will do well on Google.
How does Google decide what post is first?
Google will monitor what post gets the most clicks and adjust the search results to give the post with the most clicks a higher ranking. It is not just about clicks though. Once a searcher clicks on a link, Google will check to see how long that user spends on that post. The longer the user is on the post that is a signal to Google that this post is a good match for that search query.
If a user clicks back straight away after going to a post that is a signal to Google that this is not a good match.
The post with the most clicks from Google search, this is called CTR (click-through rate) and longest session time (the time a user spends on the site) will get higher rankings. These are two clear indicators to Google that the post is good.
Google continually recommends webmasters that if they want to rank, concentrate on producing excellent content.
Do I need keywords for SEO?
SEO means ‘search engine optimization’. Google is the biggest search engine out there so when you write posts, format them so they are easy to understand.
A title tag will attract searchers to read your meta description in the search results. Once the searcher clicks to view your post, your short descriptive introduction will lead your visitor to read your blog post.
In short, keywords help Google analyze your content correctly, which is SEO. Keywords should be in your title, meta description, and content.
What are organic keywords?
Organic keywords are used to get free traffic from search queries. If your content matches a search query, your blog post will show in search engine search result pages. You don’t have to pay money to get this.
If the searcher is interested in your blog title and meta description then click on the link to go to your website. This is free (organic) traffic.
This is what website owners want. Free (organic) traffic. If you work hard to build an excellent informative website, you should get organic traffic.
What are ‘paid’ keywords?
Google has Google Adwords. Adwords are the sponsored ads you see in each search page result. Usually, they are on the right-hand side, along the top, and along the bottom.
These ads are activated by search queries. Google tries to show you ads that match your search query in the hope that you will click on a sponsored ad rather than an organic link.
If you click on a sponsored ad, Google gets a payment, if you click on an organic link, they don’t.
Paid keywords work in the same way as organic keywords but you have to pay to have an ad on the first page with paid keywords.
It is possible to get on the first page of Google with Adwords, but it will cost you. Cost is determined on the keyword you want to target. The higher the competition the higher the cost.
How do I optimize keywords?
A great way to optimize keywords in your posts is by using Google’s search console. Your search console will show you the keywords generating traffic to your blog posts.
Look at the keywords and use the keywords that are relevant to your post to expand your content. Make your content longer and more in-depth.
If you want to know how to use Google search console to optimize your keywords then I suggest reading my other article about how you can add ranking keywords to your content.
What are long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are a number of words together to make one keyword phrase. Usually, more than three words together are considered long-tail keywords.
For example, if you wanted to write a blog post about golf, then you will find it very hard to rank for the keyword ‘golf’ because there is so much competition.
If you targeted something like ‘tips to improve your golf swing’ you would have a better chance to rank because you have targeted a more specific keyword, which means less competition.
Writing content tips
When writing content, use subheadings, keep your sentences and paragraphs short, use images throughout your post. Embedding videos helps keep your visitors engaged. Visitors to your website will scan your content, subheadings will help them find the section that interests them.
The main purpose of using keywords is to help Google and searchers understand your blog content. When people do a Google search they are looking for posts that are relevant to their search query. Have a catchy title tag and meta description to get people to click on your link in the search results.
Use subheadings to make it easier for people to scan your content.
Building a website takes time and patience. There is no quick way to speed things up. When you start, concentrate on writing excellent content. Once Google trusts you it will start to send organic traffic to your blog.
For more tutorials on SEO, WordPress, and the Amazon affiliate program, check out my YouTube channel.
How long have you been blogging?
What issues are you having with SEO and keywords?
I look forward to reading your comments.